Programs – Brooklyn Zen Center

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B-12: Buddhism and the 12 steps of recovery

B-12 is a drop-in practice group exploring the connections between Buddhist practice and recovery. We will begin our evenings with brief meditation instruction, followed by a period of meditation, a short talk and discussion.

  • Our meetings are open to all members of a 12-Step recovery program.
  • The group is led by senior practitioners in recovery.
  • Donation requested.

B-12 meets every Sunday from 6 to 7:30 pm. For specific dates, please see the BZC Calendar.

For more information please contact Maya P. or Katy H. at

undoing patriarchy and unveiling the sacred masculine

Upcoming gathering dates (Sundays, 10 am-12:30 pm, except when noted): January 12, February 23, March 29, April 26, May 31, June 28, July 26.

A monthly group of Zen practitioners who identify, or are identified, as male coming together to explore the construct of patriarchy, its impact on our lives, our communities, and to work towards developing our sacred masculine identities; those dynamic and restorative aspects of masculinity that strengthen our ability to cultivate wisdom, compassion and community. Together, we will contemplate what the cost of patriarchy has been for the lives of everyone along the gender spectrum: How does patriarchy obstruct the expression of a sacred masculine identity? Could the expression of a sacred masculine identity lie at the heart of undoing the violence of patriarchy in our sanghas and communities?

Through a variety of practices including meditation, group dialogue, personal storytelling, journaling and ritual, we will unpack how patriarchy has shaped our expressions of masculinity and the self. We will take up a dharmic lens to examine our relationship to violence and domination, power, femininity, love and sexuality along a path to unveiling and honoring non-patriarchal expressions of who we are as human beings.  Our hope is that these efforts will further our own liberation and strengthen a process of cultivating balanced spiritual and secular communities.

No registration required, no meditation experience necessary. Come as you are!

Contributions / Dana: The custom of Dana, or generosity, is fundamental to Buddhist practice. All Dana goes to support the Center and teachers and is essential for the continuation of the community and practice.  

For further inquiries, please contact us at email:


undoing whiteness and oppression

Meets on the 1st Saturday of every month, from 1:30 to 3:30 pm, at BZC. Please see the BZC UWO program meeting dates below and check the BZC Calendar for the latest information on meeting dates. 

Upcoming meeting dates: Feb 1, Mar 7, April 4, May 2, June 6.

This is a monthly group of Zen practitioners who identify or are identified as white to explore the racial construct of whiteness, how we grasp the identity and the privilege integral to it, and how we might divest from these entanglements so we are freed to skillfully address the pain and suffering caused by them.

If we are to thoroughly deepen our Buddhist vow to do no harm, we must be clear on the oppression resulting from social positions we occupy and biases we manifest. As with all explorations of self and harm, we must also see the behavior and ignorance that allows this conditioning to continue.

For many this is not an easy discussion, but it is a necessary one if we are to uphold our Bodhisattva vow to be liberated with all beings. Ultimately this liberation returns us to the joy and intimacy of our whole humanity and life.

For further inquiries, please contact Kristin Miscall at kristinmiscall(at)


friday night zen

Friday Night Zen is a space for aspiring and seasoned meditators alike to connect and explore how meditation and mindfulness relate to daily urban living. Through meditation, group readings, and discussion, we investigate and uncover the habits that keep us from fully experiencing our lives. The group is geared toward ages 25 to 40, but all are welcome. No previous experience is required!

Meetings run from 7 to 8:30 pm. Please try to arrive by 7pm so you have time to get settled before we begin meditating. Our next meeting dates are 12/6 , 12/20 and 1/3.

Each meeting, we suggest a $10 donation to support offerings at the Brooklyn Zen Center, but we encourage you to attend even if you can’t donate.

For further questions, please contact

people of color sangha

Brooklyn Zen Center People of Color Sangha

Meets on the 2nd Saturday and 4th Sunday, from 1:30 to 3:30 pm, at BZC. See the complete 2020 meeting dates below.

The Brooklyn Zen Center People of Color sangha fosters mutual support and understanding among people of color who find nourishment and inspiration in the teachings and practice of Buddhism. The group’s intention provides a safe, brave and cherished space supported by a Soto Zen Buddhist context to openly discuss our experiences living and navigating oppressive, racial, biased, social structures.

Dedicated BZC practitioners of color facilitate each meeting to support overall flow. Below is general flow of a typical meeting:

  • Welcome and Intro (with brief Zazen instruction)
  • Zazen (sitting meditation)
  • Brave Space guidelines, intentions and commitments (group review)
  • Group check in and share
  • Kinhin (walking / movement meditation)
  • Reading and discussion*
  • Practice Tool (to support daily practice)**
  • Zazen
  • Tea time & free talk***

*Suggested readings are short chapters, excerpts or poems provided via email and Facebook group to support practice tools.

**Sangha members are encouraged to share a practice tool that has been transformative for their daily practice and life. Please inquire with one of the facilitators after a meeting or via email,

***Tea time and free talk usually extends past 3:30p. Attendees are free to bring snacks to share with the sangha and to arrive and leave when convenient.

The BZC POC sangha intends to meet twice a month on the 2nd Saturday and 4th Sunday. Dates are subject to change and will be announced as early as possible. Please check the BZC Calendar for the latest information on meeting dates. 

2020 BZC POC meeting calendar:

  • 1/11
  • 2/8
  • 2/23 (with Chimyo Atkinson)
  • 3/14
  • 4/11
  • 4/26
  • 5/9 (with Sebene Selassie)
  • 6/13
  • 6/28
  • 7/11
  • 7/26

Testimonials from POC Sangha Members:

“The POC Sangha is where I am continually reminded that I can come as I am. A Be-in for Be-ings. Love to you all.” ~ Camille

“The POC Sangha is a place I feel safe to allow my emotions to be present in community. It is where I find acceptance for tenderness amongst other sweet souls.” ~ Alma

“The POC Sangha offers such love, support, acceptance and ways to approach life. I can be my full self and enjoy a spiritual community free of shame.” ~ Carrie

“The POC sangha is a bright spot of love and light in Brooklyn. I feel welcomed and accepted as I am whenever I visit the POC sangha.” ~ Bobi

“The POC Sangha is very dear to my heart. There’s always a lovely new face and always so much love, healing, courage, fierceness and joy.” ~ Dexter

“The POC sangha is home. Especially when I am traveling and in need of a reminder of home I’m able to tap into the felt sense of our POC sangha and feel support, feel grounded, feel the reminders. Thank you, Sangha!” ~ Jozen

“POC Sangha is a refuge for me — a source of love, support, resilience, acceptance, and authenticity where I feel fully seen and heard and receive constant reminders that I am not alone on this path.” ~ Lissa

“POC sangha is a gift in which I continually feel expanded everytime I immerse myself in; the sangha’s voice is full of wisdom and courage.” ~ Yoko

For more information or questions, please email us at and join our Facebook group.


awake youth project

Awake Youth Project is a secular program that brings mindfulness and meditation to underserved high schools throughout Brooklyn. We work in close partnership with the Department of Education and our non-profit partners. Our instructors have worked in schools throughout the borough of Brooklyn and have brought mindfulness practice to thousands of students.

The AYP program includes school-based meditation groups that meet voluntarily after school, peer-to-peer training, emotional intelligence instruction, alternative-to-suspension groups, as well as staff development and meditation groups for educators. We also work with other non-profits to bring mindfulness practices to the teens they serve.

The teen meditation program at Brooklyn Zen Center was started initially by Awake Youth Project participants in our peer-to-peer training program. The purpose of the group was to provide an opportunity for all teens in Brooklyn interested in mindfulness and meditation to come together in community. We meditate together, investigate emotional and social issues, and study mindfulness in all aspects of life. We also cook, explore movement and dance, write and create art together. We do this through after-school drop-in sessions, Spring internships, and peer-to-peer training programs during the school year.

For more information or to get involved, please visit